Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Study: Just Six Tracks Carry 30% of People Across the Potomac (57 Highway Bridge Lanes Carry the Rest)

July 29th, 2015 No comments

A new Virginia study (PDF) finds that Metro and other transit operators carry a major portion of all cross-Potomac travel in a just a few crossings, using far less space than the 57 highway bridge lanes that carry the rest. If built, an expanded bridge crossing will need transit to maximize its ability to move people across the river.

PotomacRiverStudy Map

Transit’s Role is Critical

While some media outlets focused on the study’s highway expansion recommendation, the presentation acknowledged that Metro, VRE, and other bus operators plays a major role in the movement of people across the river from Virginia to DC in the core of the region. Seeing that, we thought we we’d drill down further to estimate how many people are actually crossing the river, using which bridge, and by what mode. Supplementing the study with available transit ridership data and vehicle occupancy data (PDF), we arrived at the following estimates:

Potomac Charts

Estimated AM Peak Period Trips (* includes buses on highway bridges)

This is all the more impressive when one considers the numbers of highway bridge lanes (57!) needed to move the other two-thirds of people (as opposed to just six rail tracks). Plus local and express buses also share the load across the Key, Roosevelt, 14th Street Bridges, perhaps carrying 6 to 16% of the travel on those bridges in the morning. Notably, in the morning rush, the Rosslyn tunnel carries more people across the Potomac River than any other crossing to or from Virginia, including the highly congested Legion, 14th Street, and Wilson Bridges, which are all major multi-lane interstate routes.

New Crossings Will Need Transit to Move More People and Foster Sustainable Regional Growth

The study’s recommendations include a possible extension of the 495 Express Lanes across the Legion Bridge into Maryland. The Potomac River is a major choke point for regional travel and the Legion Bridge is effectively the only major crossing in the growing western portion of the Washington Region, increasing the importance of whatever project might be implemented. If a robust level of transit service were added, potentially connecting the growing White Flint area, Tysons Corner and other areas, the capacity of the crossing would be greatly increased.

Legion Bridge Options

For example, if just a single additional managed travel lane were added in each direction, that lane’s ability to move people would be more than doubled with strong HOV usage, and a variety of bus services using the new lanes to bypass congestion. The region was forward in its thinking when it built the Wilson Bridge to accommodate future transit, however today no transit actually crosses it. If the region decides to expand the Legion Bridge while continuing to grow smarter and manage congestion, transit should continue to play a strong role moving people efficiently across the river.

Metro Takes Electric Demonstration Bus On The Road

July 27th, 2015 No comments

Electric bus demonstration on-site at Metro

Electric Bus New Flyer 060105 Electric Bus New Flyer 060105

 Metro staff conducted a hands-on review of all-electric bus technology this month with a manufacturer demonstration for Bus Engineering, Bus Planning, Marketing and Sustainability staff. While the Authority has made no commitment to purchasing all-electric buses, on-site demonstrations such as this enable staff to explore the emerging technology and better understand its performance and operational characteristics first hand.

Electric Bus New Flyer 060105Metrobus fleet fuel economy has improved 15% since 2005 through the expanded use of hybrid buses and improved performance across the entire bus fleet. As the Authority seeks to build upon this efficiency, conducting market research into all-electric technology provides staff with a direct experience of this near-silent and tailpipe emissions-free technology. Low-vibration electric buses such as the one demonstrated offer a smoother ride and eliminate the urban-noise and air-pollution impacts of existing bus technology. In the future, this technology has the potential to enhance the overall livability of our cities, particularly in dense urbanized areas with high frequency bus services. In the coming months other manufacturers will be visiting Metro as part of the Authority’s market research of all-electric bus technology and investigation into best locations for potential roll out.

Categories: Sustainability Tags: ,

A Bus Named Desire – What We Heard at StreetsCamp 2015

July 9th, 2015 11 comments

In part 2 of the series, StreetsCamp participants had a number of ideas to make buses better – all buses, not just Metrobus.

A Bus Named Desire - Comments from StreetscampA Bus Named Desire was the question of the day at Metro Planning staff’s StreetsCamp session last Saturday. We asked what participants thought would make a better bus – from any perspective. What are the things that transit agencies and local jurisdictions could do speed up buses, increase the level of comfort for potential riders to ride the bus, change service, etc.

Here’s what we heard, grouped by topic:

Service

  • Bus lanes, bus lanes, bus lanes (WMATA note – there are some great corridors for these. Please also let your city/county know you think they are important. They own and operate the streets!)
  • Bus routes that offer better connections to destinations far from Metro stations
  • Take station relocation and system redesign seriously. Build partnerships with community organizations. (WMATA note – both a regional approach, as well as line by line, are underway!)
  • Consolidate stops on every line to save time and money. Buses don’t need to stop every block.
  • More frequent off-peak service
  • Add express service from Maryland suburbs

Read more…

Transit Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond: There’s More to It Than Metrorail

July 6th, 2015 1 comment

In part one of this series, Metro Planners led a session at StreetsCamp  Saturday June 20, 2015 to talk with transit advocates about other possibilities beyond Metrorail to increase transit use, reach, and access.

I want Metro to...

Politicians and citizens always ask for more Metrorail, but why should transit continue to chase land use decisions? Metro Planners Allison Davis and Kristin Haldeman talked to transit advocates and urbanists at StreetsCamp last Saturday to provide approaches that can help the transit we have today reach more people and be more cost-effective without requiring more Metrorail (pdf). The major take-aways for advocates and urbanists were to advocate for:

(1)    Local decision makers to monetize full life‐cycle cost of land use options;

(2)    Access projects that create comfortable (i.e. desirable) paths for pedestrians and bicyclists; and

(3)    Local jurisdictions to add transit signal priority, queue jumps, and bus lanes

Why these three specifically? Read more…

Metrobus Revises the 22 and 25 Bus Lines

June 30th, 2015 No comments

As part of Metrobus’ June 21, 2015 Service Change, the Ballston-Bradlee-Pentagon Line has been eliminated and the Barcroft-South Fairlington Line has been revised.

The 25 routes have been evolving ever since the line started in January 1980. This route restructuring is only the latest change to better address the travel needs of our passengers. Routes 25A, 25C, 25D, and 25E (Ballston-Bradlee-Pentagon Line) have been eliminated. Most discontinued segments of the line have become part of the restructured Routes 22A, 22B, 22C, and 22F (Barcroft-South Fairlington Line).

22ABCF

All timetables have been adjusted to reflect new trip times. Check out the 22A, B, C, F schedules and 25B schedule. Read more…

Transit Sustainability Experts Gather in DC

June 18th, 2015 No comments

Sustainability experts gathered in DC last Monday to talk about some of their agencies most exciting and biggest opportunities.

Sustainability Meet E Coast 060115-8076

Last Monday Metro hosted the first meeting of East Coast transit sustainability specialists. Sustainability staff from Metro, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Amtrak, and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority were in attendance to discuss how they have successfully implemented projects focused on energy savings and operational efficiency. Developments in  regenerative braking energy storage, agency wide energy management programming, and waste management were presented by attendees. In the afternoon, a lively discussion on the role of transit in regional sustainability was taken on the road on an all-electric bus demonstration ride.

Through future sustainability forums planned for later in 2015 inter agency collaboration will continue to enhance resource efficient transit operations throughout the region.

Categories: Sustainability Tags: ,

Metrobus E Line Restructure Coming June 21

June 16th, 2015 No comments

As part of Metrobus’ June 21, 2015 Service Change, the Military Road-Crosstown Line will be restructured to better fit the travel needs of our riders.

Effective Sunday, June 21, 2015, we are changing the Military Road-Crosstown Line (E2, E3, E4) to improve the efficiency of the service, and to make the schedule easier to understand.  Previously,

  • E2 served Friendship Heights, Fort Totten, and Ivy City on weekdays, but on weekends, the E2 served only Friendship Heights to Fort Totten. E4 served Friendship Heights, Fort Totten, and Riggs Park on weekdays only.
  • Weekend service was provided by a shortened E2, which traveled between Friendship Heights and Fort Totten only, and Route E3 (a weekend-only combination of the weekday E2 and E4, Route E3 served Friendship Heights, Fort Totten, Riggs Park, and Ivy City).

To better match service with demand, clarify the schedule, and increase reliability, we are restructuring the service starting on June 21:

E2_E4_brochure

  • Route E2 will be revised as the Ivy City-Fort Totten Line. The route will operate between Ivy City and Fort Totten station only, and will no longer connect to Friendship Heights station.
  • Extra “short trips” on Route E4 will be added, which will connect Fort Totten and Friendship Heights station (bypassing Riggs Park).
  • The E3 weekend designation will be eliminated, because the new E2 and E4 will operate seven days a week.

These changes will better balance service and demand, improve reliability, and allow for more service frequency on the high-demand western portion of the line. Shorter trips improve on-time performance and reliability, as a longer route is prone to more traffic chokepoints. A simplified schedule makes it easier to figure out which bus to take, especially for new riders. Check out the new E2 timetables here and the new E4 timetables here.

This post is Part 2 of 4 in a series spotlighting major changes from Metrobus’ June 2015 Service Change.

Metrobus U and V Lines Changes in Effect June 21

June 15th, 2015 No comments

The U and V Lines have been overhauled as part of Metrobus’ June 21 service changes. Here’s what you need to know about the new and eliminated U and V routes.

In April 2014, Metrobus Planning staff directed a study of the U and V lines. The routes (U2, U4, U5, U6, U8, V7, V8, and V9), operate primarily in the District of Columbia, connecting the Minnesota Avenue Metrorail station with nearby neighborhoods. The study assessed the lines in detail, identified traffic issues and crowding concerns, and recommended service changes. As a result of the 2014 study, we have restructured the U and V lines to make them clearer and more reliable.

U_V_All_Lines_Final_June_2015_Brochure

The following changes are effective Sunday, June 21, 2015:

  • the elimination of Routes U2, V7, and V8,
  • the shortening of Route U8,
  • the restructuring of Route V9 as the new Route V1, and
  • the addition of new routes U7, V1, V2, and V4.

Take a look at our detailed U and V Line brochure and the new timetables (U7U8V1, and V2,4) and let us know what you think of the new service.

There are no changes to the other U and V routes (U4, U5, U6, and V5).

This post is Part 2 of 4 in a series spotlighting major changes from Metrobus’ June 2015 Service Change. 

Categories: Service Changes Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quarterly Metrobus Service Change Takes Effect June 21

June 12th, 2015 No comments
New NH1 map 6-21-15

Metro’s bus planners always aim to provide you with a Better Bus, and on June 21, timetables are changing for over 40 bus routes. Here’s what you need to know, starting with a closer look at the NH1,  NH3 line.

This post is Part 1 of 4 in a series spotlighting major changes from Metrobus’ June 2015 Service Change. Stay tuned for details on the revised E Line, U and V Lines, and 22 and 25 Lines.

Metrobus planners are constantly reviewing bus service and routes and bringing changes four times a year. Regular assessments including daily weekday passenger boardings and passengers per revenue trip, along with data from customer participation and feedback from our Metrobus operators, point out routes that need attention. Sometimes the resulting changes are small, such as adjusting trip times to more evenly space trips and better accommodate passenger loads or adjusting to traffic patterns. Other changes have a bigger impact, perhaps influenced by passenger demand, construction detours, budget constraints, or political pressures. No matter the reason, Metro Bus Planning is always working for a Better Bus.

Here’s what’s happening with the June 2015 service changes (detailed future timetables are available too): Read more…

Metrorail: A Long-Term Solution

April 20th, 2015 12 comments

Metrorail has had a huge impact on the region, but as we’ve seen with the Silver Line, it can take decades to get from concept to execution.

One of the questions I hear most often as a planner for Metro is When will a Metro station open in xyz neighborhood, “in Georgetown”, or “at BWI”? It was the first question at the March Citizens Association of Georgetown meeting. My response — “Decades” — often elicits audible groans.

Given last summer’s opening of the Silver Line, we have a case study that can provide insight on how long it takes to plan, fund, and construct large infrastructure projects. The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project has done a phenomenal job of maintaining a project timeline. Since the region has many recent newcomers, it is helpful to revisit many of the key milestones, as shown below. It is also helpful to remind readers that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) was the ultimate developer of the Silver Line (both Phases I and II) and that the project “only” required cooperation among the Commonwealth of Virginia, MWAA, Metro, the federal government, and Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. While just one example, the Silver Line’s long story is not vastly different from other mega-projects happening in the region and across the country.

Timeline for Planning, Environmental Process, Legal and Financing, and Constructing the Silver Line

Read more…